Seattle has been one of those places that I always wanted to visit.
So when my friend was having her bachelorette party in Seattle for a weekend, of course I had to go! We spent 48 hours in this city (not to mention the 20 hours it took to get home. Thanks, canceled flight…). We got to see some sights, spend some time with the bridal party, and take in all Seattle had to offer for the weekend.
A mimosa brunch was obviously in order. We dined at a nice, cozy place called Circa. Then it was time to explore Pike Place Market, arguably one of the top places to see in the city. Since it was a Saturday, the place was busy but bustling with fun. I saw the gum wall in Post Alley, had a delicious peach Moscow mule at Rachel’s Ginger Beer, and saw rows and rows of flowers for sale.
Our first activity was a food tour hosted by Eat Seattle where a chef named Liz walked us around the unique vendors of Pike Place Market. The public market was built in 1907 by farmers and merchants looking to sell their goods. Every vendor at the market is known for unique and different goods, creating an environment of delicious surprise. It’s the oldest continuing market in the nation and includes many levels of shops, eateries, stores, and more.
The first top on the food tour was Beecher’s which is famous for its cheese production. Every one who had been to Seattle before raved about their macaroni and cheese. We sampled it on the tour, and I can tell you… it was life changing. So yummy!
Next was Local Color, a coffee shop known for their art displays and espresso. We sampled their coffee and some vegan donuts and both were delicious. I loved the hipster vibe and artsy atmosphere at this place.
Okay, so I hadn’t heard much about truffles since I am not the most culinary person out there but wow how my life changed after visiting La Buona Tavola, a truffle shop. An introduction to truffles: they are basically small tubers that grow in the ground that are used to flavor many dishes. We sampled truffle salt, truffle oil, potato leek soup with truffle oil, and truffle balsamic that was aged fifteen years! Truffle salt and truffle oil could easily become my new staple in the kitchen… but since I couldn’t fit them in my carry-on, my search for truffle products continues. The flavor was amazing and made for great samples. Each truffle sample was paired with wine also, so that made the experience that much more fun.
The tour continued with Frank’s Quality Produce, Britt’s Pickles, and honey Greek yogurt from Ellenos. We walked onto a rooftop garden and samples some desserts and sweets and got a great view of the city from above.
Our last stop was a chocolate shop called Indi Chocolate where they source their own cacao beans from all over the world. Their products included chocolate (obviously) but also lip balm, soaps, seasonings… all made with cacao beans. When I say all these places were unique, I really mean it!
After the tour, we went to a cat cafe. What’s a cat cafe? Well, it’s totally a thing. You can order coffee and play with cats for a while. The place was called Seattle Meowtropolitan and it was adorable. We dined at Assagio for dinner with plenty of wine and good pasta.
The next morning we had an amazing breakfast at Lola. But perhaps one of the best sights I was able to see was the Panama Hotel, which is the setting of Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a novel about Japanese internment during World War II. The Panama Hotel is an historic location in Seattle from the 1940s where many Japanese Americans left their belongings in the basement after being sent to internment camps. It is still an operating hotel and is steeped in local history. Ford’s book is great and I was able to meet him in 2014 at Camarillo Reads. You can see the blog post about this here. To see this place in person was truly fascinating and very humbling.
I tweeted Jamie Ford that I went to the hotel that Hotel was based on, and he tweeted back. No big deal. Not fangirling or anything…
I chose to base my short story on the Panama Hotel and the story of belongings left behind from WWII. While my story is fiction, it was inspired by the real basement under the hotel. Unfortunately, we didn’t explore the basement but at least we got to see the actual hotel. You can read more info on the history of the hotel and the belongings that became artifacts here and here.
Overall, Seattle was very easy to navigate, had plenty of history, and make for a great weekend getaway. I can’t wait to visit a second time. If you’ve been there, what are some of your favorite Seattle places?